Let me start this review with a note. The XUV300 that you see in this pictures was borrowed for an hour. In this time, I had to finish shooting for two videos, which left next to no time for the review images. So excuse me for the poor quality of images. Now that I have got this off my chest, lets start with the Mahindra XUV300 petrol review. There is only one reason for me to review the petrol. It’s an all-new engine and the entry-point in the XUV300 range. Moreover, Mahindra doesn’t do petrols as much as they plonk diesels in their range.
Mahindra XUV300 petrol engine and transmission
By now, you’re familiar with the specs of the car. However, a quick recap is warranted. The Mahindra XUV300 petrol engine is a 1.2-litre motor and makes 110PS of power and 200Nm of torque. The engine is paired with a 6-speed manual and the claimed fuel efficiency is 17kmpl. Now that we got the numbers out of the way, let’s begin with the actual drive experience. Fire up this engine and you will be hardpressed to say that this is a 3-cylinder unit. Yes, we have checked with Mahindra themselves and this is indeed a 3-cylinder unit. Many skeptics on our Youtube videos did say that this is a 4-cylinder according to some popular websites. The one with the extra cylinder is the diesel engine.
The Mahindra XUV300 petrol is silent at idle and there are next to no vibrations. So, that’s a good start. Open the hood and you will see the amount of sound insulation used. Depress the light clutch and slot into first and you realise that you don’t need to give much throttle input. The cautious me, initially though was giving extra throttle. However, once I got used to the engine’s characteristics, it was no brainer. The 200Nm of torque does come into play quite early. You can short shift and the engine doesn’t protest. 20kmph is doable in 3rd gear. There is next to no turbo lag in this engine. Step on the accelerator and the engine rushes to meet the redline at the same pace a college kid is going to meet his girlfriend. Till 4,200rpm, the engine sounds refined but after that, it does take on a slightly sporty note.
See a slight gap in traffic, point the nose and the XUV300 petrol will do your bidding. It is fast but in a refined way. However, if you think this is an enthusiast’s car, then there is a slight hindrance. It comes in the way of the long throw gearbox. It takes away the feeling of sitting in a SUV with sporty pretense. All this fun with the XUV300 petrol in traffic or on the highway shouldn’t come at the expense of fuel efficiency. While I didn’t test the vehicle, the MID after a reset, was showing a mileage of 11kmpl in the city conditions. Please bear in mind that this isn’t the mileage one can expect from this vehicle. A proper number will be established once the car comes in for a test.
The Mahindra engine start-stop technology is present in this trim. It cuts off the engine when the vehicle is put in neutral and the foot removed off the clutch. The engine springs back to life when one depresses the clutch pedal. If you’re in the mood for spirited driving, this technology will disappoint you. The engine doesn’t spring to life immediately and if you’ve already slotted the gear lever into first, you will have to bear incessant honks from behind.
While the footwell doesn’t seem cramped, there is no dead pedal. Few people in our videos did complain that Mahindra could have done better than this.
Ride and handling of the Mahindra XUV300 petrol
The Mahindra XUV300 petrol has good stability in a straight line. However the compact SUV does like to take things slowly in a corner. Approaching a corner at 70kmph, I didn’t feel the confidence. The steering itself is well weighted and comes with segment-first modes like Normal, Comfort and Sport. All these modes change the weight of the steering wheel depending on the mode selected. Not that you will understand this in the city confines. Perhaps a longer highway journey may sort out things.
What’s stellar is the ride quality. There are no audible thuds in the cabin even while navigating our well surfaced (insert whatever emoji you want) roads. The doesn’t seem fazed by whatever our government officials have to throw at it in the name of roads. That’s a good sign. The suspension though seems a tad firm, especially if there are next to no passengers in the cabin.
All around visibility though is very good and the wing mirrors too provide a wide view. There is no blind spot created due to the A-pillar as well. One is also seated comfortably higher though the ground clearance of the XUV300 is only 180mm.
Design and interior of the Mahindra XUV300 petrol
I will not want to dwell much on this as already a lot has been spoken on this topic. In short, the Mahindra XUV300 looks quite good and breathes some fresh air with the overt design elements and the typical SUV stance. Those LEDs are bright and definitely are attention grabbers. The projector headlights throw is something which we wanted to gauge, but couldn’t due to the limited time we had with the car.
Space in the cabin, especially for taller folks at the back is at a premium. I quite liked the supportive front seats while the lack of rear headroom for a 6ft 4inch tall human being could be an issue. But again, the average Indian shouldn’t have a problem with this. What’s an oversight in a well appointed cabin is the omission of rear AC vents. The third guy in the car was time and again asking us if the AC was on or not. Speaking of which, this is the only car in this segment to boast dual zone climate control. There is also the something Indians like – sunroof. It doesn’t have a one touch operation though.
Speaking of touch, the 7-inch infotainment system is nice to use and is easily readable even in broad daylight. It supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay along with navigation. The boot space at 258 litres was just about adequate in this 5-seater but it could have been better. The loading lip is also on the higher side.
Safety in the Mahindra XUV300 petrol
Since the variant we drove was the W8 (O), it came with all the bells and whistles. Things like seven airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seat tethers, height adjustable front seat belts, tyre pressure monitor, steering wheel direction indicator, electronic stability control, front as well as rear parking sensors, heated mirrors and rear parking camera with dynamic guidelines are available.
There are also seatbelt reminders for all the passengers in this trim – a very good initiative. The rear seat passengers also get adjustable headrests along with the front ones.
Verdict of the Mahindra XUV300 petrol
I frankly am quite positive about this product. It is a brilliant effort from Mahindra and is a product which is hard to find fault with. The petrol engine is a gem and inspite of being turbocharged, has minimum turbo lag. It also seems decently fuel efficient. The Rs 13.78 lakh, on-road Mumbai price for this top-spec W8 (O) trim may be a tad on the higher side but compensating for that is the equipment levels. I can go on a whim here and say this one is better than the Tata Nexon petrol though driving both back to back will only reveal a true winner. Well, that’s set to happen soon!
Trivia: The Mahindra XUV300 is based on the SsangYong Tivoli. While dealerships in India can be seen pushing for the diesel trims, the petrol seems to lack exposure. However, we will urge that you test drive the petrol once. You may just not want to buy the diesel anymore.
Things we like about the Mahindra XUV300 petrol
Design is pleasing, plethora of features, brilliant ride quality
Things we don’t like about the Mahindra XUV300 petrol
High price, a bit cramped at the back, service uncertainty